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Britain puts banks at front of queue for US trade deal

The Telegraph | 13 April 2017

Britain puts banks at front of queue for US trade deal

British banks could be able to access the US markets in future as freely as they trade with the EU now, under a trade deal envisaged by Liam Fox.

“Every sector” should be part of a free trade deal with the US but finance is likely to be particularly important.

“It’s a fair bet that given the shape of the UK economy and the shape of the U.S. economy that the service sector will play a very important part in what we look at,” the international trade secretary said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Traditionally trade deals have only covered taxes and regulation on goods, but as services make up the majority of Britain’s economy, the government hopes that after Brexit it can include those sectors in trade deals too.

Banks and other finance firms in London expect to lose the passport which lets them trade across the EU, but groups such as the City of London Corporation have proposed new setups in which good access could remain across the Channel.

Mr Fox’s idea for a deal with the US could seek to replicate such an open financial border with Wall Street.

Opening up more to the world market would be a major boost for the UK’s financiers, he said.

“The potential for us to lead in this next financial services revolution may make what we did in the last iteration of that revolution look almost an underachievement,” he said.

“Under the Bank of England, we have a regulatory framework that’s globally respected - and cannot be replicated in any short space of time by anybody at all - which is why I am so confident about the future of London as the preeminent financial center.”

 source: The Telegraph